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15 April, 2021

Unmasking Queensland

Its time to breathe a sigh of relief, the COVID mask restrictions will be eased.

By Peter McCullagh

From 6am Thursday, 15 April, several restrictions will be relaxed, meaning masks will only be mandatory in certain settings and families can visit ill or elderly relatives in hospital or nursing homes as normal.

The lifting of restrictions was originally planned for 12 noon Thursday, however with the announcement from the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Arth will be greeted as a breathe of fresh air for all Queenslanders and visitors.

From 6am, Thursday, 15 April 2021:

• Face masks will only be mandatory in airports and on planes. Masks will no longer be required in indoor spaces such as shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets or public transport or outdoors when you can’t physically distance, however masks will still be required in high risk settings such as hospitals and aged care facilities.

• Hospital patients, aged care and disability accommodation residents and prison inmates can resume receiving visitors as normal. There will still be circumstances under which people cannot visit high-risk facilities across Queensland. More information is available on Queensland Health’s website.

• Gatherings in private residences (homes and accommodation) will increase from 30 to 100.

• There will be no restrictions on the number of people that can gather in public spaces.

• Retail food services, entertainment venues and high-risk businesses can open for standing when eating and drinking, both inside and outside.

• All restrictions previously in place for outdoor based businesses, activities and undertakings will be removed, except for dance and music festivals which still need to meet some requirements.

• Dancing is allowed under the one person per 2 square metre rule and physical distancing observed both indoors and outdoors.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young reminded Queenslanders and visitors to the state to remain vigilant.

“It’s great news that we’re able to ease even more restrictions and while we’re not yet returning to normal, we’re steadily getting closer,” Dr Young said.

“We’re very lucky here in Queensland to be able to have gatherings and outdoor events, to go out to restaurants and cafes, go dancing and only have to wear masks in certain settings.

“But we must remember that we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. We must continue to be vigilant.

“Get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home when you’re sick, check in to venues, and continue to practice good hand hygiene and physical distancing as much as possible so we can continue to live with minimal restrictions.” 

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